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THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS 



: : V^fK EX, A I>J D 



CRUSADE 
DESTINY BAY 

IRELAND : 

THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 




MAP OF IRELAND 



DONN BYRNE- -a 



IRELAND 

THE ROCK 
WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



FOREWORD BY THE 
RIGHT HONOURABLE T. P. O'CONNOR 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS 



LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY 

BOSTON 1929 srggggg 



Copyright, 1927, 

BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY 

Copyright, 1929, 
BY DOROTHEA DONN-BYRNE 



All rights reserved 
Published July, 1929 



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 



s ACKNOWLEDGMENT 



of the photographs 
in this volume is sanctioned by the National Geo- 
graphic Society of the United States of America. 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



Map of Ireland Frontispiece 

Looking East from Lismore Castle 5 

The Ruins of Donegal Castle 1 3 

Baily Lighthouse on Howth Head 25 

Where-Old Age Comes Gracefully 29 

The Tore Waterfall 37 

In Tipperary 41 

"The Giant's Ring" near Ballylesson 49 

The Famous Stone Cross 5 3 

Two Celtic Crosses of the Ninth Century 61 

TheBookofKells 65 

In a Cottage near Leenane, County Galway 73 

Giant's Amphitheatre, County Antrim 77 
The Cascade of Inagh River below 

Ennistimon Town 8 5 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Spinning the Carded Wool into Coarse Yarn 8 9 

Penrose Quay, Cork 97 

The Round Tower at Antrim 101 

A World-famous Thoroughfare 109 

The Fishermen's Rope Bridge 113 

The Vale of Glendalough 121 

The Ivy-covered Ruin of Ross Castle 125 

A Cabin Built of Turf : County Derry 133 

"The herrin* are in!" 137 

Kylemore Castle 141 



?^^~55~.. . : . = i : . JJggggFQRE WORD 
BY THE RIGHT HONOURABLE T. P. O'CONNOR 



^FOREWORD 



BY THE RIGHT HONOURABLE T. P. O*CONNOR 



THE name of 

Donn Byrne first attracted me by its pictur- 
esqueness. Byrne is a fairly common name in 
Ireland, but Donn Byrne was a new form to 
me. I was prepared to admire him, because long 
before I had made his personal acquaintance I 
had read one of his early books, in which Marco 
Polo was the central figure. The subject seemed 
somewhat unpromising, because Marco Polo is 
dead long enough not to excite especial interest 
in the world of to-day; but when, turning over 
the pages, I found the whole epoch of the great 
discoverer so vivid that it seemed a story of men 
and things of but yesterday, I marked Donn 
3 



FOREWORD 

Byrne as a writer to be watched ever after- 
wards. 

Then came the long series of books dealing 
with Ireland, and the discovery that Donn Byrne 
especially in America was among the best 
sellers of his time. His fame went up rapidly, 
mainly in America I am afraid they are not 
even yet great readers of books in Ireland.(But 
in America I made a somewhat remarkable dis- 
covery during one of my visits that there is 
a large group of Americans who, although not 
all, nor indeed even the majority, connected with 
Ireland by birth or by descent, read voraciously 
modern novels about that country.^ 

But Donn Byrne was their favourite; and the 
result, of course, was that I looked eagerly for 
every new book of his as it came out. Personally, 
4 




THE BEAUTIFUL BLACKWATER FROM LIS- 

MORE CASTLE. OFTEN CALLED **THE IRISH 

RHINE** 



FOREWORD 

I am afraid I am a little too much of a realist 
and have seen too much in political contro- 
versy of the dark as well as the good side of Ire- 
land, for Donn Byrne's pictures of that country 
to make the same appeal to me as to those who 
know it less from the inside. The land bathed in 
poetry and universal good will was not quite the 
Ireland that was brought home to me especi- 
ally by the bitter controversy in its politics, in 
which unwillingly I had to take part and I 
could not accept as a complete picture of Ireland 
this land of wandering and popular bards and 
romantic love. However, there it was. Mr. Donn 
Byrne had found his public. 

At last one day he came to see me. His per- 
sonal appearance made as immediate an appeal 
to me as his books, for he was a singularly hand- 
7 



FOREWORD 

some specimen of a genuine Irishman. He was 
tall, lie had a face of classic regularity of feature, 
he had a modest and winning manner, made per- 
haps the more so by the Irish accent which he 
maintained amid his many changes of fortune 
and residence; above all, he was utterly unpre- 
tentious. He brought along with him a delight- 
ful wife, as Irish as he, very handsome, very 
modest, very intelligent. I never saw a pair that 
seemed to me so instinctively and happily mated. 
I have not seen him since. He lived very little in 
London, but my recollections of him are pleas- 
ant in every way. 

I have not a complete knowledge of all the 

facts of his life, except the general impression 

that he had had many vicissitudes, many hard 

hours of struggle and of poverty, and that he 

.- 8 ' 



FOREWORD 

was years travelling the hard path of the occa- 
sional contributor to newspapers and magazines. 
I believe he was actually born in New York, 
though when he was but three years of age he 
went back to the glens of Antrim, from which 
his ancestors-came and which are the background 
of so many of his stories. 

The chief quality of his writing is his extra- 
ordinary power of bringing out the poetry and 
the pathos of everybody and everything in the 
land of his fathers. He was helped a good deal 
in his understanding of the people by the fact 
that he spoke the old Irish language, which was, 
and is, pretty generally used in the part of Ire- 
land whence he came. He had an extraordinary 
power of giving vitality and poetry to every 
being and every scene he had to describe. They 
9 



FOREWORD 

are all dramatised by a man who saw more of 
the drama, the poetry and the romance of these 
personages and scenes than the ordinary observer 
did. 

In the year 1911 at the age of twenty Donn 
Byrne returned to New York, where he was mar- 
ried. Here it was that his father, an architect, had 
come to direct a great building. 

One day he sent a poem to Harper's Magazine: 
the editor was wise enough to realise the poetic 
skill of this little ballad. 1 1 reproduce it here, be- 
cause in it you can trace all the main qualities 
that made the greatness and the popularity of all 
Donn Byrne's books. 



iDonn Byrne's First Poem, published in Harper's Magazine, 
1911. 



10 



FOREWORD 

I will take my pipes and go now, for the bees upon 
the sill 

Are singing of the summer that is coming from the 
stars. 

I will take my pipes and go now, for the little moun- 
tain rill 

Is pleading with the bagpipes in tender, crooning bars. 



I will go o'er hills and valleys, and through fields of 

ripening rye, 
And the linnet and the throstle and the bittern in 

the sedge 
Will hush their throats and listen, as the piper passes 

by 
On the great long road of silver that ends at the 

world's edge. 



11 



FOREWORD 

I will take my pipes and go now, for the sand-flower 

on the dunes 

Is a- weary of the sobbing of the great white sea, 
And is asking for the piper, with his basketful of 

tunes, 
To play the merry lilting that sets all hearts free. 

I will take my pipes and go now, and God go with 
you all, 

And keep all sorrow from you, and the dark heart's 
load; 

I will take my pipes and go now, for I hear the sum- 
mer call, 

And you'll hear the pipes a-singing as I pass along 
the road. 

There is scarcely anything in any of his books 
that followed in which you cannot trace the tone 
of the genius of this little poem. 

12 




THE RUINS OF DONEGAL CASTLE. 
DONEGAL CITY 



FOREWORD 

Luck then came the way of the young couple. 
Prosperity came with the publication of "Messer 
Marco Polo", and the first story of Donn Byrne 
was at once hailed by all the critics and the public 
as a work of genius. 

"From that time forward he was a bit of a 
wanderer, spending some part of his time in 
America, and a good deal in Kent or Surrey in 
England; but nearly always drifting back for 
some time at least to the land of his birth that he 
understood so well and loved so dearly. I fancy 
there was scarcely a spot in Ireland which he did 

not know~. He was able to see in the prosaic and 

y 

sometimes the squalid surroundings immediately 
before his eyes the picturesque and moving his- 
tory that lay behind in the chequered story of his 
country. 

- 15 



FOREWORD 

These years of travel had given him an insight 
into the inner character of many other lands be- 
sides his own. The first thing that ever struck me 
in his writings was his description of Marseilles, 
a city very often described and known to all 
the world; but I do not think I ever read any- 
thing which gave me such-a-vivid and brief de- 
scription as Donn Byrne's picture: ) 

"Along the quays, along the Cannebiere, was 
a riot of colour and nationality unbelievable 
from on board ship. Here were Turks, dignified 
and shy. Here were Greeks, wary, furtive. Here 
were Italians, Genoese, Neapolitans, Livornians, 
droll, vivacious, vindictive. Here were Moors, 
here were Algerians, black African folk, sneer- 
ing, inimical. Here were Spaniards, with their 
walk like a horse's lope. Here were French busi- 
16 



FOREWORD 

ness men, very important ... A queer town 
that, as familiar as a channel marking, teeming 
as an ant-hill, and when darkness came over It, 
and he viewed it from the afterdeck, mystery 
came, too. . . . For a while there was a hush, 
and around the hills gigantic ghosts walked. . . . 
One thought of the Phocaeans who had founded 
it, and to whom the Cannebiere was a rope- walk, 
where they made the sheets for their ships . . . 
And one thought of Lazarus, who had been raised 
from among the silent dead, and who had come 
there, so legend read, a grey figure in ceramic gar- 
ment^, standing in the prow of a boat." 

Ultimately he was able to find a home in his 
native land, in Coolmain Castle, a picturesque 
old place which is believed to have been built in 
the thirteenth century. 

17 



FOREWORD 

This is not the place for a study of his many 
works. Suffice it to say that his lately published 
book, "Destiny Bay", has already had a triumph- 
ant reception. It is one of the great tragedies in 
the story of literature that at the moment 
when he was rising high in fame with each suc- 
ceeding book, and happy with a beautiful family 
driving in a faulty motor car in his Irish estate, 
Donn Byrne was killed in a wretched accident, ; 
and the brain that conceived and the hand that 
wrote such lovely things will produce no more. 
It is a tragedy too deep for words. 

I send with these few lines a sketch which 

summarised his view of the land of his birth; 

^ 
i 

terse, mordant, enthusiastic; it is a worthy adieu 
to the world of letters which he left too soon. 



18 



^IRELAND 



THE ROCK. WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



ONE 



an 

Irishman looks at his country from a distance, 
as from America or Australia, the exact 
size of the country is apt to disappoint him. 
The longest line of land which can be drawn is 
three hundred miles: from Fair Head, in the 
northeast, to Mizen.Head, in the southwest. 
Taking the country as a rough lozenge, the short 
diagonal from northeast to southwest is about 
two hundred miles." 

The terrain itself may be roughly divided into 
three parts: a mountainous region in the north, 
- 21 



IRELAND 



an equally mountainous region in the south, and 

a great central plain. 

The mountains in the north of Ireland are a 
geological continuation of those of Scotland, 
and those of the south a like continuation of the 
Welsh mountains. The Irish Central Plain is 
opposite what in England is called by soldiers the 
Chester Gap, and so, naturally, the Irish Central 
Plain is England's logical and only military out- 
let to the northwest. It was and is as natural for 
the possessors of England to invade Ireland as 
it is for a human being to turn from left to right. 

TARA ONCE THE SEAT OF 
IRISH KINGS 

The rich and fertile province of Meath was 
the possession of whatever tribe in Ireland could 
22 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

take and hold it. In earliest days Dublin and its 
Liffey was not the principal site of the Irish Kings, 
but Tara, in Meath, and the Boyne, with its 
holms of lush meadow grass, its infinity of 
salmon. In the southwest Limerick was hardly 
less important. Limerick was protected on the 
west by the Atlantic and on the east by the wide 
and dangerous Shannon. The Shannon is con- 



the real military frontier of Ireland in 

^^ h *"*Nlhr .,. . , ^ . - - 

the ;west. The greatest of English soldiers, the 
Lord Protector Cromwell, did not dare to in- 
vade Connacht (Connaught) . 



23 




BAILY LIGHTHOUSE ON HOWTH HEAD 

ACROSS THE BAY FROM DUBLIN. ONE OF 

THE MANY POWERFUL LIGHTS AROUND THE 

IRISH COAST 



TWO 



I SUPPOSE 

that to an anthropologist the smallest ges- 
ture of a man reveals the soul within him 
that is, if anthropologists believe in a soul, which I 
do not know. I have never met an anthropologist 
at the races. This mind and body business is too 
subtle for us Irish to see. We will stupidly go on 
believing that kindness is not begotten by logic, 
nor heroism a product of carbohydrates. 

Assume with me, to avoid argument, that folk 
have souls, and I will attempt to show you what 
is back of our race. "Fine words/* says the Eng- 
. 27- 



IRELAND 

lish proverb, "butter no bread." But I distrust 
the ultimate wisdom of a race which evolved 
that miracle of huckstering: "Honesty is the best 
policy. 5 * "When gentlefolk meet, compliments 
are exchanged/* say the Chinese. Our ff Go tnanee 
Feea git!" "God bless you," "Feea is Mwirra git!" 
"God and Mary bless you!" mean so infinitely 
more than "How do you do?" 




WHERE OLD AGE COMES GRACEFULLY 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 
A GIVING, LOYAL PEOPLE 

-.Even in English, our people saying good-bye 
to a friend will always add, "God bless you!" 
There is no assumption of courtesy. It is there in- 
herent. 

(I know of nothing more dignified than an 
Aran Islander than, indeed, any Irish peasant. 
When they are young they are supple as a larch. 
When they are old they have the kindness and 
sanity of a gnarled apple tree. Always, your 
trouble is their trouble and your joy theirs. We 
are a giving people) 

Irish servants have a pathetic loyalty. They 
are often of a carelessness which drives a sane man 
mad.j But no tongue-thrashing will affect them. 
They will say: "Ah, sure, himself doesn't mean 
a word of it. 'T is only a gray day in his heart/* 
31 



IRELAND 

The only discipline you can use is to forbear 

speaking to them for some days. This is torture) 

IRELAND'S PLACE NAMES HAVE 

COLOUR AND CHARM 
The names folk give to places are an index to 
their imaginations. In "Valladolid" and "To- 
ledo", in the "Rue des Petits Champs", you get 
names like a bar of music. All names of places 
meant something to their nominators, even 
"Poolton-cum-Seacombe" and "Bumbleby in the 

Wash." But what they meant is forgotten. 
/ 
f Our names are still alive in Irish speech. 

Aderg means the Red Ford; Aghleim, the Horses' 
Leap; ( .Annaghgod, the Marsh of Sally Trees; 
Ballynagovna, the Town of the Artificers; Ball- 
inhoe, the Town of the Mist; Ballin Tour, the 
Town of the Bleaching Green; Bacloughadalla, 
32 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

the Town of the Lake of Two Swans; Ballyder- 
own, the Town between Two Rivers; Ballykeen, 
the Pleasant Townland; Ballynabragget, the 
Town of the Ale; Booleynasruhaun, the Milking 
Place of the Little Streams; Breaghey, the Plain 
of Wolves; Bennanilra, the Remote Place of the 
Eagle; Cahirnamallaght, the Fort of Cursing; 
Caherapheepa, the Fortress of the Fairy Piping; 
Carkfree, the District of the Grouse; Carri- 
gataha, the Rock of the Swarming Bees; Clog- 
heracullion, the Stony Place of the Holly Bushes; 
Qonman, the Meadow of Fruit; Carraghatork, 
the Moor of the Hawk; Derrynablaha, the Oak 
Grove of the Blossoms; Drimminoweelaun, the 
Ridge of the Seagulls; Gortacraghig, the Field of 
Hanging; Inchbofin, the Meadow of the White 
Cow; Killabrick, the Wood of the Badger; 
33 



IRELAND 

Mallyree, the Little Hills of Heather; Moneena- 
tieve, the Little Bog of Rushes; Poulnaglog, the 
Hole of Bells, a deep hole in Clare, where the 
bells of Drumcliff Abbey are supposed to be 
buried; Rathnaglye, the Fortress of Shouting; 
Scartnamacagh, the Thicket of the Beggars; 
Scartanore, the Thicket of Gold the Danes 
are supposed to have buried much treasure in it; 
Slieve Mish, the Mountain of Phantoms; Tagh- 
shinny, the House of the Fox; Tabernadroaa, the 
Well of the Druids; Tullyval, the Hill of Honey; 
Vinegar Hill is a corruption of Fidh-nagcaer, or 
Hill of Berries. 

This quick imagination, this apt use of words, 
follows us into English. Our mountainy people 
and our folk of the sea still think in Gaelic, 

though they have forgotten the tongue. How 

* 

34 - 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



often have I heard people laugh at a countryman 
who says, instead o "if*, "if it's a thing that", 
translating the beautiful emphatic conditional 
of "Ma 's rud e", "If it be a fact", clumsily into 
English. 

Our use of prepositions is amazing and subtle. 
We say, "Glory be to God! it's the fine day that's 
,jin it!" "Ta ionn." And that denotes a space of 
time, a certain space out of the infinite, like a 
meteorite in the multitude of stars* 

Possessions are things that "at you." "There 
is no silver at me", a man will say if he is penni- 
less. There you see the dignified human entity 
with possessions at his feet, but not interming- 
ling with his personality. Any sort of suffering 
is "pn^us." There you have the entity, still abso- 
lute, with a load or oppression. 

35 - 



IRELAND 

pggSE^g^^y^grgS 1 ^^^^ 

IRISH BULLS OFTEN REFLECT 
EFFORTS AT SUBTLE NU- 
ANCES OF SPEECH 

Many of our "Irish bulls", as our Saxon neigh- 
bours insist on calling them, are a result of trying 
to express quickly a subtle meaning in unaccus- 
tomed dress. Many others are the invention of 
that rogue and ruffian, the Dublin jaunting-car 
driven 

I heard an old Irish groom say, at a trial of 
races, "If that colt could catch the other, he'd 
beat him!" Considering that the two-year-old 
was five lengths behind at the time, it was surely 
as ridiculous an assertion as was ever made. Every 
one laughed. But I knew what he meant. The 
two-year-old had gameness, speed, and strength, 

36 




TORC WATERFALL RUSHING INTO THE 
MIDDLE LAKE (KILLARNEY) 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

but did not know how to use them. The boy up 
could not help him. 

The statement of Sir Boyle Roche, that "a 
man can't be in two places at the same time, bar- 
ring he's a bird of the air", expresses a great deal. 
But all it evokes usually is the loud laugh that 
Oliver Goldsmith knew. 

INTRICACIES OF GAELIC 
POETRY 

This subtlety of Gaelic speech defeats it own 
ends rather in our poetry. What with allitera- 
tion, internal rhymes -there are usually six- 
teen rhymes in the Gaelic quatrain the Irish 
poem is a work as intricate as chess. And one is 
rather amazed at the artifice than moved by the 
sentiment. George Fox's translation of the coun- 
try poem, the County of Mayo, gives an idea of 
39 - 



IRELAND 

the heartbreak underlying most Irish verse. It 
is a straight and somewhat facile translation: 

On the deck of Patrick Lynch's boat I sit in woeful 

flight, 
Through my sighing all the livelong day and weeping 

all the night, 
Were it not that from my people full of sorrow forth 

I go, 
By the blessed sun! 'tis royally I'd sing thy praise, 

Mayo! 

*Tis my grief that Patrick Laughlin is not Earl of 

Irrul still, 
And that Brian Duff no longer rules as lord upon 

the hill, 
And that Colonel Hugh MacGrady should be lying 

dead and low, 
And I sailing, sailing swiftly from the County of 

Mayo. 

40 




IN TIPPERARY. RETURNING HOME FROM 

THE CREAMERY WITH THE SKIMMED MILK 

AND SOME LOAVES OF BREAD 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

An anonymous country bard, trying his hand 
at English, has got into that tongue a hint of the 
rhyme and rhythm of Gaelic in his weird poem 
about the Galway races: 

It's there you'd see the jockeys, and they mounted 

on most stately, 
The pink and blue, the red and green, the emblem 

of our nation. 
When the bell was rung for starting, the horses 

seemed impatient, 
Though they never stood on ground, their speed was 

so amazing. 

There was half a million people there, of all denomi- 
nations 

The Catholic, the Protestant, the Jew, the Prespe- 
tarian; 

. 43 . 



IRELAND 

There was yet no animosity, no matter what per- 
suasion. 

But welcome and hospitality, including fresh ac- 
quaintance. 

A hint of the intricate vowel rhyming of the 
Irish bards is in a beautiful translation by one of 
our two greatest poets, Douglas Hyde: 

Though riders be thrown in black disgrace, 
Yet I mount for the race of my life with pride; 

May I keep to the track, may I fall not back, 
And judge me, O Christ, as I ride my ride. 

BLACK DESPAIR WAILS FROM 
IRISH PIPES 

Though we have so much pleasant courtesy, 
yet there are black depths in us, as any one who 
has listened to the Irish elbow pipes knows. The 
harp, with the beautiful airs of the "Coolin" and 

44 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



"The Blackthorn Bush", and those others which 
the poetry of Thomas Moore has made known, 
is nostalgic, yet often have I been thrown into 
the darkest of despair by the magic of the Irish 
pipes, the bare, desolate mountains of Conne- 
mara rising before me, and a cold wind blowing 
from the Pole. 

Our pipe is not the Scottish pipe, but a small 
instrument of many keys, played on the knees 
with a bellows. In the "Lament for Patrick Sars- 
field", as played by old men, the shrill keen is too 
much for one. 

And let none think all our stories are of little 
people, of leprechauns in red caps cobbling small 
shoes. The most terrible demon in Europe is the 
Irish Robert Artisson, who was the familiar of 
the dreadful Lady Alice Kyteler of Kilkenny, 
45 



IRELAND 

foulest of witches. Our Bankeentha, woman of 
wailing, as the banshee is properly called, is not 
a romantic Irish lie; neither is it a romantic fact, 
but a terrible one. 

The stories of Garrett Oge, young Gerald, 
Eleventh Earl of Kildare, called the "Wizard Earl, 
are known to the Fitzgerald family to be as full 
of horror and as fearsome as that mystery of 
Glamis Castle. In a house in the Boyne Valley a 
skeleton climbs the wall like a huge spider. The 
Gormanstown foxes are too well authenticated 
to leave any doubt about them. 

THE WORST HAUNTED HOUSE 
IN THE BRITISH ISLES 

The worst haunted house in the British Isles 
is a certain castle in the heart of Ireland. The 
place is grim and bare, a square castle of the usual 
46 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

type. The top storey of the central tower is the 
chapel, having evidently served that purpose in 
time past. Often at night the place seems lit up 
by innumerable candles, and no member of the 
family or no servant will enter that room unac- 
companied. 

Of the ghosts, one is a monk with tonsure, 
who walks in at one window of the chapel and 
out another. There is also a little old man in a 
green cutaway coat, knee breeches and buckled 
shoes. 

But the worst ghost in the world is there, the 
terrible and well-known It* Here is a descrip- 
tion of it from the lady of the house: 

"I was standing one evening in the minstrels* 
gallery, leaning on the balustrade and looking 
into the hall. I felt suddenly two hands laid on 
. 47 . 



IRELAND 

my shoulders. I turned around and saw It be- 
side me. It was human in shape and about four 
feet high. The eyes were like two black holes in 
the face and the whole figure seemed as if it were 
made of grey cotton- wool, while it was accom- 
panied by a most appalling stench, such as would 
come from a decaying human body." 

Her health was in the balance for a long 
time. 

It has been seen many times. The most recent 
victim is a clergyman, who sought to lay It. He 
is in St. John of God's near Dublin, an asylum 
for the wrecked in mind. 

These are facts, not to be gainsaid. The Rev- 
erend St. John Seymour, as level-headed a cleric 
as exists, and former Inspector Neligan, of the 
Royal Irish Constabulary, are my authorities. 
48 




THE "CROMLECH" is "THE GIANT'S RING" 

NEAR BALLYLESSON, FOUR MILES SOUTH OF 
BELFAST IN COUNTY DOWN. THIS RING IS 
THOUGHT TO BE THE REMAINS OF A MONU- 
MENT CONSTRUCTED BY SOME PRIMITIVE 
RACE ABOUT FOUR THOUSAND YEARS AGO 



THREE 



IT is always 

a matter of interest and wonder why the Ro- 
mans jpever subjugated Ireland. In his geography, 
Strabo passes over Ireland with a curt phrase. 
We know, too, that a certain Irish chieftain, 
whose name well, for his own sake is un- 
mentioned, pleaded with Agricola to invade it 
from Britain; but Agricola did not think the 
conquest worth the trouble. 

The truth, I take it, was that there were no 
cities to conquer. The Irish were an agricultural 
and nomadic race, living in huts of clay and 

- 51 



IRELAND 

wattles, which might be deserted without heart- 
break and rebuilt with ease. Such crafts as they 
knew were exercised by slaves taken in warfare 
or bought in the English market. 

Such monasteries as were later erected were 
not of Irish inspiration, but dreamed and exe- 
cuted by monks and prelates of Rome, who 
brought from their native Tiber the Roman pas- 
sion for masonry. 

There was a Paris before Julius Caesar, and 
there was a London, for we read that in the first 
century of our era London was burned by 
Queen Boadicea, and the men of Surrey; but of 
Dublin, of Tara, of Limerick, we know little 
or nothing. A relative of my own, disputing 
with the late Professor Tyrrell, who had said 
that Ireland had no past, thundered that in that 
52 




; ALL THAT NOW REMAINS OF THE FAMOUS 

STONE CROSS, WITH A SCULPTURED EFFIGY OF 

^JJTsJPATRICK., THAT STANDS IN THE BURYING 

GROUND .O.N TKE..ROCX....OF _CASHEL^ 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

respect the Dark Rosaleen is like every decent 
woman. That is magnificent, but is not argu- 
ment. 

ROMAN MISSIONARIES LAID 

FOUNDATION OF IRISH 

CIVILISATION 

The truth is that we owe the foundations of 
civilisation firstly to the Roman missionaries, or 
to English missionaries bred under the eagles of 
Rome, and secondly to the Danes who built 
Dublin and Waterford and left them enduring 
cities. 

Of what stock we came it is difficult to say. 
Histories written in Irish monasteries speak of 
many invasions of the country: by the Tuatha 
de Danaan, or tribes of Dana; by the Firbolgs, 



IRELAND 

men with bags or bellies, for the Irish word 
means both; by the followers of Parthalon, who 
were all supposed to have died of a plague and 
whose funeral place is Tallaght, near Dublin. 
These seem to me to have been some African 
race who succumbed to the moisture and ma- 
laria of the country. The names MacFarlane and 
MacParland are the only relics of their stay. 

Doctor Samuel Johnson's friend. Colonel 
Vallencey, who wrote a most extraordinary 
grammar of the Erse tongue, a miracle of beauty 
as to printing, insisted that the Irish were of 
Phoenician origin, and that the Erse tongue 
proved it a statement ridiculed by modern 
scholarship. 

(Ireland was, in the ascendant of the Crescent, 
raided many times by Barbary pirates; so that 
56 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

the people of Parthelon may have been from the 
land that later became Carthage. That we are a 
Mediterranean people is, I think, accepted by 
most scientists. 

We are not as tall as the accepted blond Eng- 
lish and Scandinavian and Teutonic peoples; 
also, our colouring is darker; and we are not a 
seafaring people, as these folk are. A Greek 
scriptural commentator, whose name I have for- 
gotten, traces the Apostle Paul's Galatians to a 
return of Celtic peoples to the minor Asia. But 
Colonel Vallencey and my shadowy Greek com- 
mentator are not authorities to the poring minds 
of modern critics. I doubt if they would be even 
given credit for their daring. 

-One small fact remains in my memory that 
will cause consternation to my countrymen. 
57 * 



IRELAND 

Our legendary hero, Cuchulain, who is the 
patron warrior of our young Irish soldiers, was 
called, as we read in the Irish sagas, Setanta be- 
fore he assumed the fighting name of "Hound 
of Cuala." Now, the Setantii were that English 
tribe about Manchester known to Roman his- 
torians. 

Language is to some extent a keynote of na- 
tionality. Our native language in Ireland is 
Gaelic, which appears to be a rough descendant 
of an original stock of which modern "Welsh and 
modern Breton are the purer blooded. To what 
degree a Breton and a Welshman can under- 
stand each other I do not know, but in both 
languages I can trace words we have in Gaelic. 
The "Welsh "bach", a term of endearment, is the 
same as our Irish "beg", meaning "little**; and in 
- 58 - 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

Breton **ty* 9 meaning "house", and (f ker", mean- 
ing "a house with subsidiary buildings", are the 
same as our own words. 

My education, such as it is, has flown more 
along the lines of Greek and Latin than of Celtic 
tongues, so I can speak with no authority on the 
analogues of Breton and Irish; but that they are 
very closely akin is beyond question. 

My boyhood was spent in those parts of north- 
ern Ireland where Gaelic was still spoken; and, 
having more curiosity about houses, dogs and 
boats than about books, I grew up speaking Irish 
and English with equal fluency; so that I know 
for a certainty how far apart the Celtic and 
Gaelic tongues are. 

The Welsh, which is still spoken so widely that 
there are districts in Wales in which English is 
. 59 



IRELANJ 

not understood, and the Cornish language, o 
which the last speaker died more than an hun 
dred years ago, but of which we have preservec 
to us a small literature, are unintelligible to at 
Irishman. 

BASQUE AND CELTIC ARE 
NOT RELATED 

A Highlander and an Islesman of Scotland 
speak the same Gaelic as I do, as do that remnant 
of people in the Isle of Man who speak their na- 
tive Manx. In Manx, spoken now I am told by 
not more than two hundred people, the dialect 
is that of the County Down, in Ireland. The 
Highlander and the man of the Hebrides use a 
less inflected Gaelic than ours. 
60 




THE PRIDE AND GLORY OF THE MONASTERY OF 

MONASTERBOICE ( COUNTY LOUTH ). CELTIC 

CROSSES OF THE NINTH CENTURY 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



There is a vulgar error, as old writers would 
say, that the Basque language in the Pyrenees has 
a relationship to our Celtic tongues, but that is 
untrue. I know the Basques, and their mysteri- 
ous speech has no relationship with any known 
tongue. 

In that strange book of Victor Hugo's, 
"I/Homme Qui Kit", the Lord's Prayer as re- 
cited by an Irishman is supposed to be under- 
stood by a Basque; but that is wrong. (Their pas- 
sion for handball, which is our Irish game, and 
their look, as of an Aran Islander, have given 
rise to this belief. But every nation plays a form 
of ball, and brooding on mountain and sea gives 
people who are fortunate to have sea and moun- 
tain by them that rugged face, that depth in 
their eyes, that grave courtesy, that distilled 
simplicity. 63 - 



IRELAND 



GAELIC IS A DIFFICULT 
TONGUE 

Our Gaelic tongue is difficult to learn, supple 
as a whip. I know of nothing absolute, such as 
life, death, religion, which cannot be discussed 
in it with ease. 

We have three verbs to be f f is", "ta", and 
r( bi." "Is" denotes absolutes, as ff is Leat an riog- 
hacht, an laidre, agas an gloir"; "For Thine is the 
kingdom, the power and the glory." "TV* de- 
notes things as they are at the moment, as ff Ta 
an mhuir *g a lionadlo"; "The sea is at its filling," 
or the tide is coming in. tf Bi" denotes something 
that usually takes place at a certain hour, as 
"Bionn daoine ceille na gcodladh sa mhead- 
honoidhche"; (^People of sense are asleep at mid- 
night."^ 

64 




THE BOOK OF KELLS IN THE LIBRARY OF 
TRINITY CHAPEL, DUBLIN, IS THE BEST EX- 
AMPLE OF THE EIGHTH-CENTURY IRISH IL- 
LUMINATED ART, AND IT HAS BEEN CALLED 
* "THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK IN THE WORLD." 
THE TEXT IS THE TRANSLATION INTO LATIN 
OF THE GOSPELS OF SAINTS MATTHEW, MARK., 
LUKE, AND JOHN, AND THE LETTERS , FIGURES 
AND GEOMETRICAL DESIGNS SHOW IT TO BE 
THEWORKOFA MASTER DRAUGHTSMAN. THE 
DESIGNS ARE INTRICATE AND NEEDLE-SHARP 
IN DETAIL ^ 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



We have an intricate inflection of the noun. 
"Cewt* is "head", cmn "of the head", "cimn" 
"with a head", "a cheann" "O head!" I have never 
heard a peasant make the smallest mistake with 
his inflections or his very intricate subjunctive 
tense. 

Yet it is a mistake to think that there is any 
big literature in Erse. Beyond lyrical poetry of 
a shortness which is not better than any other 
country's, and some sketchy histories and geo- 
graphies, we have nothing. 

(Our big Gaelic work was the martyred Bishop 
Bedell's translation of the Bible \ but as that was 
a translation of the Authorised Version, it was 
not received with enthusiasm by a country 
which clung to the Scriptures as edited in Douai. 
The famous book of Leinster is a monument of 
67 



IRELAND 

fine clerkly illumination and infantile lives of 
Saints. 

MASONS AND ARTIFICERS 

ONCE HAD A SEPARATE 

LANGUAGE 

Besides Gaelic, there flourished in Ireland a 
cryptic speech used by masons, "Bearla eagair nan 
Saor"; "the difficult speech of the artificers." 
Only very old masons remember it in Ireland 
and will disclose it to you, mumbling in their 
white beards and looking suspiciously at you out 
of red-rimmed, faded eyes. In it were words 
which you recognise as Latin, but mainly the 
vocabulary consisted of Irish words reversed. 

The interesting part of this is: that in Eng- 
land* besides the gypsies, there are tribes of itin- 
- 68 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

erant tinkers who use many of these reversed 
Irish words in their jargon, which is not Romany. 
"Lapac" for a horse is the Irish "capall"; "rohob" 
for road is the Irish rf bobor"; * r ee$" is the Irish 
tf saoi", a magistrate. This dialect is called by them- 
selves "Shelta", which I suppose is "Celtic." 
These English tinkers have otherwise nothing 
Irish about them. 

MYSTERY SHROUDS IRELAND 

AFTER ROME'S NOBLE 

RETREAT 

From the tragic day when the last Roman 
officer gave the order to "cast off!" from Dover, 
a dim mist hangs over Great Britain and Ireland. 
The legions and their eagles fought their way 
back to Rome a terrible and noble retreat. 
69 



IRELAND 



But behind them stayed the Christian mission- 
aries. The struggle of these great-hearted men 
against Druidism is a story we have lost, or was 
never told us. 

In Ireland I doubt if ever there was a great 
priesthood or following of Druids as there was 
in England and Brittany. We have nothing in 
Ireland like Stonehenge or Karnak, or even the 
small Druidic circles of Cornwall. Our round 
towers, about which so much has been written, 
seem to have been bell towers of churches, like 
the campaniles of Venice, or watchtowers against 
the Norsemen coming by the sea. 

The rapid development of Christianity in 
Ireland is marvelous. We had a host of saints in 
Ireland, like Columkille and Brigit, and our her- 
mits who lived in their beehive cells were innu- 
70 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

merable. They left Ireland for Cornwall, like St. 
Piran, whose buried oratory is called Perran 
Zabuloe, or St. Piran in Sabulo properly "in 
the sands", near Newquay; like St. Mawgan. 

About these saints there is the legend that 
they floated across on millstones, which I take 
to be a vulgarisation of the fact that they 
brought their altar stones with them, contain- 
ing relics of other holy ones. Brittany gives 
shelter to St. Briac near Dinard; to St. Ronan at 
Lacronon, in Finistere; to St. Budoc at Plourin; 
to St. Fiacre at Le Faouet. 

The name Fiachar is still a not uncommon 
name in Ireland. The strange thing about this 
Irish saint is that he gave his name to the French 
cab, which might lead some foul, irreverent man 
to ask whether he, of all the Irish saints, did not 
71 



IRELAND 

float across to Brittany on his altar stone, but in 
some miraculous manner used the traditional 
Irish jaunting car. 

RICH MONASTERIES ATTRACTED 
NORSE RAIDERS 

The monasteries and churches founded by the 
Irish Christians, such as the great abbey of Clon- 
macnoise, drew the eyes of the ravaging Norse- 
men, and under their splendid leader, Thorkils, 
they made as thorough a conquest of the coun- 
try as could possibly be imagined. 

It is a curious fact, but of the coins found in 
Ireland, there are none minted by Irish kings. 
Many bear the inscription of Canute and Olaf. 
"Olaf f divielin," or Olaf in Dublin. ) 
' 72 




IN A COTTAGE NEAR LEENANE, COUNTY 
GALWAY. CARDING THE WOOL FOR THE 
THREAD WHICH FASHIONS THE FAMOUS 
HOMESPUN TWEED / 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



The Irish scholar Duald MacFirbis writes of 
the tenth century: "Erinn was filled with ships, 
viz, the ships of Birn, the ships of Odvin, the 
ships of Grifin, the ships of Suatgar, the ships of 
Lagman, the ships of Earbalbh", and so on, 
"the ships of Ingean Roe (the Red Maiden) . All 
the evils which befell Erinn until then were as 
nothing. . . . They used to kill Erinn's kings 
and carry her queens and noble ladies over the 
sea into bondage." 

The Danish scholar Worsaac has given a list 
of Norse kings of Ireland, compiled from Irish 
records, which extends from 853 in our era until 
1200 kings of Dublin, kings of Waterford, 
kings of Limerick. Many of our place names in 
Ireland show how extensive the Norse dominion 
was. The three provinces of Ulster, Leinster, and 
- 75 



IRELAND 

' Munster have the Scandinavian ending stadr or 
ster. Even Ireland is a Norse form. fLire is our 
name for our country; the word land is not in 
our language^ 

The victory of King Brian over the Norsemen 
at Clontarf was so complete that MacFirbis says: 
"and then there was not a threshing spot from 
Howth to Brandon, in Kerry, without an en- 
sclaved Dane threshing on it, nor a quern with- 
out a Danish woman grinding on it." 

KING BRIAN RID THE ISLAND 

OF THE NORSE 

t 

\ Norse chroniclers, whose accounts I regret to 
say are more trustworthy than the vivid histories 

of the Irish monks, give a more reasonable re- 

1 
port of the battle. (The Norse admit that the 

76 




GIANT'S AMPHITHEATRE, GIANT'S CAUSE- 
WAY, COUNTY ANTRIM. THE BASALTIC COL- 
UMNS RESEMBLE AN IRISH HARP IN REVERSE 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

Danes of Dublin, marching to effect an union 
with the forces of the king of Leinster, were 
caught in a thoroughly faulty flank movement 
by the Irish general. Their cavalry were useless 
in the foothills; as they retreated toward Clon- 
tarf they were massacred in taking to the sea. 

The power of the Norsemen in Ireland had 
been diminishing, owing to internal troubles in 
the Norse kingdoms and to the lack of new emi- 
grant blood into Ireland. That the victory was 
thoroughly Irish I dispute, for King Brian, like 
most Irish chieftains of his time, was so closely 
interallied with the invaders* families as to be 
more than half Norse himself. His rise to power 
was through the aid of the Scandinavian princes 
and his attack on King Sytrig of Dublin seems 
to have been of an unwarranted treachery. 
. 79 . 



IRELAND 

Brian was the father of Teige and Donagh by 
Kormlod. Kormlod was also married to Anluf, 
King of Dublin, by whom she bore the more 
famous Dublin king, Sytrig Silkeskjaag (Silk- 
beard) . Thus Brian's two sons, of whom Teige 
afterwards married Mor, a daughter of the Dub- 
lin king Eachmargoch, also a Norseman, were 
half-brothers of their father's enemy. King 
Sytrig. 

Irish Christianity seems to have had a mollify- 
ing effect on the Danes, whereas it bent the Irish 
no whit. The great Norse king, Olaf Trygvason, 
was baptised by an Irish Abbot on the Skellig 
Isles, An Irish princess, Sanneva, was later held 
to be a saint in Norway. Her body was deposited 
over the high altar in Bergen, and on the eighth 
of July the Norse celebrated an annual Mass in 
80 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

her honour. In Iceland there is a fiord named 
after St. Patrick, on the northwest coast of the 
island Patreksf jordr. 

HOW THE BRITISH CAME 
TO IREL A ND 

On the banishment of Dermot MacMur- 
rough, one of the Irish High kings who followed 
Brian, he appealed to Henry II of England to 
help him, offering to become his vassal. Henry 
gave MacMurrough leave to enlist any subject 
of his who was willing, and such in plenty the 
Irish prince found on the Welsh marshes. 

The Earl of Pembroke, Strongbow, was his 

chief adherent. Robert Fitzstephen, Maurice 

Prendergast, Raymond Fitzgerald, "Le Gros", 

were the first to help him. They were steadily 

81 * 



IRELAND 

followed by a stream of English, Welsh, and 
Flemish traders. 

The Norman knights, mercenary soldiers, 
were given grants of land by the High king in 
return for their services, and from these lands 
the Irish clans were unable to evacuate them .1 

The Normans fought with bowmen, followed 
by mounted infantry, "hobilers", in chain 
armour, and against these the Irish clansmen 
could not stand. Also, the Normans had con- 
siderable military experience against English, 
Greeks, and Saracens. The Irish had no knowl- 
edge of any but guerrilla warfare against the 
Danish kings. 

The history of the succeeding centuries is the 
history of the Normans consolidating their 
power in Ireland. De Burgo in Connaught, De 
82 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

Courcy in Ulster, Fitzgerald and De Lacy in the 
south. 

The Normans in Ireland sent quantities o 
men and treasure to England to assist their liege 
lord in his wars against the Welsh, French, and 
Scottish. Their suzerainty in Ireland was benev- 
olent. The Irish chiefs rebelled against them for 
the same reason that the modern Arab of Syria 
rebels against the French mandate. He objected 
to strongholds, such as the Normans built; he 
objected to the policing of the country; he ob- 
jected to any policy which kept him from graz- 
ing his cattle where and on whose lands he liked. 

In the War of Scottish Independence, and 

after Bannockburn, O'Neill of Ulster invited 

Edward, Robert Bruce's brother, to come and 

be king of Ireland. He was crowned at Carrick- 

- 83 



IRELAND 

fergus, and was terribly defeated and himself 
killed at Faughart in 1318. Many of his soldiers 
did not return to Scotland, but remained in 
Louth, in Armagh, and Down and Antrim. 

ELIZABETH RECONQUERED 
IRELAND 

.Though the Scottish invaders were defeated, 

Sr 

yet the victory was so costly as to break the Nor- 
man dominion in Ireland. A century and a half 
later Queen Elizabeth had to reconquer the 

country. | 

V- 1 

From the Tudor time onward, the history of 

Ireland becomes definitely English. The Irish 

chiefs either warred with or against the Tudors' 

enemies, not so much in a struggle for independ- 

84 




WHERE THE BROWN WATERS TEEM WITH SAL- 
MON AND TROUT. THE CASCADE OF INAGH 
RIVER BELOW ENNISTIMON TOWN 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



ence as in a struggle for and against the World 
Power, possibilities of which England was begin- 
ning to see in herself. 

For some time after, the Irish wars split defi- 
nitely into a religious camp, following the Eng- 
lish division of those who believed that the State 
and religion must march hand in hand, and those 
who believed that religion must be above the 
State. Until the Battle of the Boyne, this in- 
soluble problem was uppermost. 

f The first clear bugle note of freedom came in 
1798 Jwhen out of America and out of France 
the idea of independence strode forth startlingly 
naked and muscular. ) 

As to freedom and as to religion, there is no 
speaking of rights or wrongs. One retires to the 
rocks by the sea and broods a little space, and 
- 87 * 



IRELAND 

then joins the men by the singing river, as our 
Irish song, "The Rising of the Moon", has it, or 
he sees the recruiting sergeant where other men 
are heartening themselves with the cry of "King 
and Country." These things are between God 
and you, and so beyond judging. 

IRISH PROFIT BY DEFEAT 

The rebellions of '48 and '67 were echoes in 
Ireland of the voice that called to the Hungarians 
and the Poles; with both races we have some 
mysterious bond. The rebellion of 1916, which 
made Ireland free or changed nothing, accord- 
ing at what conclusion you have arrived, was 
either abominable treachery or clear-headed 
heroism you take your choice according to 

your politics! 

88 




OLD WOMAN SPINNING THE CARDED WOOL 
INTO COARSE YARN FROM WHICH GARMENTS 
FOR THE FAMILY WILL LATER ON BE KNIT 
AND WOVEN. SEE THE BIG BALL OF YARN 
ALREADY SPUN 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



are a nation of losers, some man has said; 

V 

but with that point I cannot agree; for if the 
Danes got much out of us, we got more out of 
them. Our women have many of them hair of 
red gold that no sovereigns in a merchant's till 
can equal. The Danes left us their taste of gam- 
ing. The Normans gave us a love for and an 
understanding of the horse. Bruce left his soft- 
spoken Gaelic in the highlands of northern Ire- 
land. The men whom Cromwell left behind burn 
with a fire of love for Ireland. King William's 
men were the fathers of the men of *98-/ 

^Dur tales of defeat give us great figures: 
Owen Roe, and the younger Hugh O'Neill, and 
Patrick Sarsfield savagely fighting to cover the 
flight of the cowardly and ungrateful James. 
What young soldier's heart does not rise at the 
. 91 



IRELAND 



thought of General Napper Tandy, and General 
Arthur O'Connor, and Colonel Miles Byrne? 

Will Robert Emmet's speech in the dock be 
ever forgotten? Is there any Irishman in the 
king's red coat whose heart does not beat the 
faster at the name of Lord Edward Fitzgerald? 

^57e are a poor country as to money, but we 
have purple heather and mountains golden with 
gorse, and rivers, great-bosomed and friendly, 
where men may dream. And the sea is kind to us. 
Oftr fields are green as the Prophet's banner. 

We do not, thank God, as a people, hesitate 
when the heart calls one way and the head an- 
other. 

(A nation that is ever prosperous, always wise, 

seems to me a nation forsaken by its angels. One 

can see its inhabitants. They are tall and thin, 

. 92 - 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

with bodies cold as a fish's. They have long heads 
and foreheads like a woman's bare knee. They 
are dressed in black. Their eyes are not merry. 
Their dynasty of monarchs, for they will have 
sound, reasonable monarchs, are called Mareph 
the Wise, Riga the Opulent, Harno the Pious, 
Ning the Farsighted. 

They are the people who always do the right 
thing. They will go to power and glory ever- 
lasting. "Where, also, they can go, each stout man 
knoweth. 



93 



FOUR 



'.A LAND that 

X 

"s 

points to its monuments is a land that is dead. 
Proud-headed Venice, Queen of Cities, is now 
a sweet old lady, with a lovely quiet in her face. 
The land that has the great Mosque of Cordoba 
is like a giant gone to skin and bone. 

Petra, in the desert, is a city of ghosts. The 
little Paris that lies at the feet of the amazing 
Parthenon has as little in common with the city 
of Pericles as has, shall I say, Burton-on-Trent. 
,ln Ireland we have not had time yet to build 
monuments. 

If you come to Ireland as a friend I was 
. 95 . 



IRELAND 

^3..eg.gq-^3=a=gp7?g-^^ ' r-s'^r^s'.-fearsr? 

going to use, God forgive me! that most horrible 
word in any language, tourist you will have 
to be content with kindliness and understanding, 
with purple heather an^^jfi gorse, and a wind 
that may sweep you from your feet, but will 
sweep life into you. 

What you will see depends on your own mind. 
Names, little crannies in cities, will work, if you 
are, in the words of the evangelist, "unspotted 
from the world", their white eery magic on you. 

The walls of Derry (Londonderry) will make 
your heart beat faster, for no gallantry in Frois- 
sart rivalled that of the Thirteen Apprentice 
Boys who locked the gates against James of the 
Fleeing and held the city for eight long months, 
not only against King James, but against famine 
and pestilence. 

96 




PENROSE QUAY, CORK. CROSS-CHANNEL 
STEAMERS DISCHARGING GENERAL CARGO. 
CORK HAS MILES OF SUCH QUAYS ALONG THE 
RIVER LEE AND IN HER SPLENDID LAND- 
LOCKED HARBOUR 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

On Lough Erdergne you will find that Saint 
Patrick's Purgatory which enthralled the mind 
of medieval Europe, and which is still a place of 
devout pilgrimage. 

At Ballyshannon you may be fortunate enough 
t to see the salmon, lying packed like sardines, 
awaiting the opportune moment to spring up the 

falls of Assaroe, springing sixteen feet in the air 


kgainst the foaming, roaring water. 

\ 

UAt Muckross the fantastic cliffs will hold you. 



In 



see 



that one named the Market House you will 
a blood brother of the rock out of which the 



African sculptor hewed the fearsome Sphinx. 

"Ik Donegal you will see the desolate Rosses, a 

\ 
tangle of small lakes and great granite boulders* 

and le who loses his way in that desert by night 
is the most luckless of beings. The great moun- 

99 



IRELAND 

tain of Donegal is Errigal, and its white cap is 
not snow but white quartz. From its top, on a 
fair day, you can see the Scottish Hebrides, Islay 
and Jura, floating on the water like young brown 
gulls?> 

LEGEND AND LITERATURE 

ENHANCE INTEREST OF 

MANY SPOTS 

From Horn Head, sometimes out of a mist will 
emerge the rocky battlements of Tory Island, 
like something evoked by an enchanter's wand. 
The roar of the Atlantic crashing into that 
cavern known as MacSwine's Gun will shake the 

stoutest heart. 

I 

^Belfast is about as Irish a city as Paisley is. It 

is of no antiquity and, except for commerce, of 

no importance; but within easy reach of it are 

100 




THE ROUND TOWER AT ANTRIM, ONE OF THE 

BEST IN IRELAND. THOUGHT TO HAVE BEEN 

A PLACE OF REFUGE AGAINST THE fC PROUD 

INVADER*" 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

the blue Mourne Mountains, the great Dun of 
Downpatrick, where the country folk say that 
St. Patrick, St. Brigit, and St. Columkille are 
all three buriedj 

Near Castle Upton are some ruined buildings 
of the Knights Templars, of interest to all 
Children of the Widow as a minor establishment 

founded by the Knights who escaped to Harris. 

r~ 

C At Antrim is the greatest round tower of Ire- 
land, nearly an hundred feet high. Near the 

town is Lough Neagh, the largest lake in the 

> 
British Isles, bordered with orchards.* 

At Bailinderry Jeremy Taylor wrote his most 
important works, and near it, at Whiteabbey, 
Anthony Trollope wrote his autobiography. 
Near Carrickfergus, at Kilroot, Dean Swift had 
a living for a small time. 

- 103 



IRELAND 

North of Belfast, at Larne, where some swine 
named a hamlet Waterloo, begin the Nine Glens 
of Antrim; Glenarm, Glencloy, Glenariff, Glen 
Balleymon, Glenaan, Glencorp, Glendun, Glen- 
shesk, and Glentow. Near Cushendall is Ossian's 

grave. " Thackeray (how these English authors 

X 
will philander after Ireland!) called Glenarifl? a 

miniature Switzerland, i I am certain that no 
critics of the author of "Vanity Fair" could ar- 
raign him more damnably than does his own 
phrase. 

Cushendun was once the home of Moira 
O'Neill. That beloved poet wrote of Cushendun 
when she composed her heart-breaking poem of 
Corrymeela: 
Over here in England I'm helping with the hay, 

And I wisht I was in Ireland the livelong day; 
104 * 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



Weary on the English hay, and sorra take the wheat! 
Och Corrymeela and the blue sky over it! 



WHERE BRUCE TOOK REFUGE 

I North of Antrim is Rathlin Island, or 
Raghery, as we of the Gaels call it. The stormy 
sea between Ireland and Raghery is called Sloch- 
na-mara, or Gullet of the Ocean, and can only 
be sailed over in the finest of weather. Here is 
Brace's refuge. The author of "Westward Ho!" 
compares it to a drowned magpie, a figure over 
which I have pondered with no success. But then 
I am only an Irish author.] It is a gallant little 
island, with an immensity of birds. It is men- 
tioned not only by Charles Kingsley, but by 
Ptolemy. \ 

105 



IRELAND 

Near Ballycastle is the famous Carrick-a- 
Rede, a ropewalk over a chasm sixty feet wide 
and ninety feet deep, a couple of planks lashed 
together by rope. The handrail, also a rope, 
swings away from you as you cross. Your best 
help is the Lord's Prayer. I have seen a glensman 
carrying a sheep walk across it in a half gale.\ 

The Giant's Causeway, near by, is more curi- 
ous than beautiful. It is impossible not to think 
of these basaltic columns as other than artificial. 
The best time to see it is in a gale, when the tessel- 
lated terraces are assaulted by a cavalry of foam. 
Parts of it are called by fantastic names: the 
Honeycomb, Lord Antrim's Parlour, the Organ, 
the Giant's Loom, the Gateway, and the Lady's 
Fan. 

Near by is Portrush, our noted golf links, of 
106 * 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

which we know it is bad taste to boast, but we 
rather like seeing Scotsmen walking in from the 
eighteenth green, white-faced, broken men* 
Between Portrush and Derry is Coleraine, mean- 
ing the "corner of ferns." It is the home of Cole- 
raine whisky and possesses one of the finest 
temperance cafes in the world. 

RIOT HAS WROUGHT HAVOC 
IN DUBLIN 

To speak of Dublin as it is to-day is very diffi- 
cult. Riot and civil commotion, and the act of 
the King's Enemies, and of the King's Men, have 
given the "finest city upon the say" a tragic 
dignity. 

\Great Dublin Castle with its Birmingham 
Tower and its Devil's Half -Acre, is now the 
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Law Courts. The first fortress of the Danes was 
built here in A.D. 840. ) 

Christ Church still stands in Lord Edward 
Street. It was the famous Priory of the Holy 
Trinity, erected by the Danish Kong Sitric in 
1038. Lambert Simnel was crowned here in 1486. 

Near St. Patrick's Park, in the slums of Dub- 
lin, is St. Patrick's Cathedral, the home of Dean 
Swift. 

Museums, zoological gardens, and art galleries 
are such as any other city has. The Bank of Ire- 
land Building is the old Parliament House of 
Dublin, a squat structure opposite Trinity Col- 
lege. 

Dublin is rather a disappointing city, except 
for its memories, which are mostly bitter. To see 
it at its best one must go on a July evening to the 
108 




A WORLD-FAMOUS THOROUGHFARE. O*CON- 
NELL STREET, DUBLIN, APPROACHED BY DUB- 
LIN'S FINEST BRIDGE. IN THE DISTANCE IS 
THE NELSON PILLAR THE CENTRE OF THE 
CITY'S ACTIVITIES 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

slope of Three Rock Mountain, and thence it 
seems like a miracle of silver afloat in the sum- 
mer air. I 

There is a multitude of curious facts about it, 
from the strange crypt beneath St. Michan's 
Church, where bodies will not decay, to the blind 
river Poddle, that runs through it like the lost 
rivers of Rome; to the fact that Jules Verne 
wrote a novel about it called "Foundling Mick." 

I can remember it in 1912, when our hearts 
were high and we hoped to bring about a Pre- 
Union Dublin of merriment and enduring dig- 
nity. I am afraid it is now a city of despair. 

Howth is northward, with the small islands 

of Ireland's Eye and Lambay. Through Swords 

and Malahide one travels to Drogheda, whose 

walls still show the effect of the Lord Protector's 

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cannon, and whose river, the Boyne, shows so 
little effect of Ireland's greatest battle. 

Westward of Drogheda is Newgrange, fam- 
ous for its Druid burial mound, with a passage 
of great stones forty-eight feet long leading into 
a stone-roofed chamber. It is the oldest Celtic 
monument in Europe. The Norsemen are sup- 
posed to have rifled it, so that no man knows 
what it contained. 

INTO A WORLD OF GLENS 

Tallaght, near Dublin, is the great burial 
place of the legendary legions of Parthelon, who 
died of the plague. Kingstown is so modern as 
to be vulgar. Bray and Dalkey are pretty little 
coast towns. 

112 * 




THE FISHERMEN S ROPE BRIDGE, AT CAR- 

RICK-A-REDE> NEAR BALLYCASTLE, COUNTY 

ANTRIM 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



Going into Wicklow, you enter a world of 
glens, like Glen of the Downs, the Devil's Glen, 
and mountain lakes like Tay and Lough Dan. 
Glendalough or, the "Glen of Two Lakes", as the 
Gaelic name means, is a deep, solitary glen in a 
wild region, the upper lake of which has some- 
thing terribly sinister about it. Here are the ruins 
of seven churches, which have stood for upward 
of twelve hundred years, and a round tower. It 
Js the site of the hermitage of St. Kevin. 

/ The Vale of Avoca and the Meeting of the 
"Waters are the prettiest spots in Leinster.i I 
should hesitate to call them beautiful. The 
scenery of Leinster has a feminine, soft quality, 
to my northern eye. 

'iThe road from Dublin to Killarney passes 
through Maryborough and Thurles, in which 
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latter city Silken Thomas, the Earl of Kildare, 
burned the great cathedral in 1495 because he 
thought the archbishop was inside, j 

WHERE SPENSER WROTE 
**THE FAERIE QUEEN** 

\Near Buttevant is Kilcolman Castle, in which 
Spenser wrote the first three books of The 
Faerie Queen.'* How Norman once that coun- 
try was is shown by the name of the town which 
was the battle-cry of the Barrymores: Boutez- 
en-avant, Push forward! j 

r Spenser's beautiful -city of Cork is almost en- 
circled by the Lee. The name Cork means a 
marsh, and the city was founded by St. Finbarre 
in the seventh century, and was later the centre 
of the Danish domination of Munster. It is a city 
116 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN . 



of bridges, and pleasant conversation and dis- 
affection to our Lord the King., 

It will be remembered that Perkin Warbeck 
got his greatest welcome in Cork. St. Finbarre's 
Cathedral is the most un-English of ecclesiasti- 
cal buildings, its front resembling Bayeux or 
Rheims. It is a monument of the good feeling 
which has always existed between Ireland and 
France. The bells of St. Ann's inspired Father 
Prout's immortal doggerel. 

(Cork has always been beloved of foreigners. 
Thackeray went into ecstasies over it. Another 
author, William Black, wrote a novel called 
"Shannon Bells", and Mr. Henry Ford erected 
a factory for his products her# 

Near Cork is Queenstown, whose name a 
polite corporation changed from Cove, in hon- 
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IRELAND 

our of Queen Victoria's landing. Queenstown is 
now known officially as Cobh. 

THE BLARNEY HOAX 

X.Near Cork, too, is Blarney, notorious for two 
things, the gillaroo trout, "the red fellow", and 
a practical joke known as the Blarney Stone, the 
kissing of which entails the same embarrassment 
as one suffers through the vulgar devices in 
amusement parks, in which trapdoors open and 
you come a purler, and sudden gusts of wind 
dismay the wearers of skirts. ) 

!ln Youghal is buried that Countess of Des- 
mond who, when she died, in 1604, was one 
hundred and forty years of age. The place of her 

commitment is notably haunted. ) 

$ 

118 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



Moeroun Castle, on the Kerry Road, is the 
birthplace of Admiral Sir William Penn, the 
father of the founder of Pennsylvania. Gougane 
Barra is a place of the most dark and" beautiful 
aspect. Steep mountains and a lake like black 
marble, and trembling silver rivers shining into 
the dark water. 

The kingdom of Kerry is wild and beautiful. 
Here are the remains, such as they are, of the 
Druids. Here are the earliest Christian remains. 
It is a county of semi-tropical mosses, with some 
plants that are found nowhere else than in Por- 
tugal. It is the home of Irish classical learning, 
\more Latin and Greek having been known in 
than in the rest of Ireland combined. Its 



people are grave and courteous and have pleasant 
voices.\The wild swan is more abundant here 



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IRELAND 

than elsewhere in Ireland, and here are the last 

of the wild red deer>, 

.s 

^TTie English poet, William Wordsworth, writ- 
ing about Killarney, says: "In point of scenery 
this is the finest portion of the British Isles", 
which is treason to his own Lake District. 
;The name Killarney means, "Church of the sloe 
bushes." The lakes are three: Upper or McCarthy 
Moore's lake; the Middle or Tore Lake; the 
Lower is called in the Gaelic Lough Leane. 

In the Gap of Dunloe, the brawling Loe River 
expands into little lakes of water remarkable for 
their blackness. The Golden MacGillicuddy's 
Reek and the Purple Mountains stand around 

this district sentinels. 

/ 

VMany of the rocks in Lough Leane are called 
after the chieftain of the district, the O'Donog- 
- 120 - 




THE VALE OF GLENDALOUGH WITH ITS SEVEN 
RUINS OF ANCIENT CHURCHES, ITS GRAVE- 
YARD WITH SLEEPING THOUSANDS WATCHED 
OVER BY THE ROUND TOWER 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



hue of the Glens. O'Donoghue's House was 
blown down during a storm, but his Table, 
Prison, Pigeon House, and Library still survive)} 
Near by are the ruins of Muckross Abbey, 
one of the finest Norman abbeys in Ireland, with 
a yew tree in its cloisters sixty feet in height. 
(Near Killarney, on the Kenmare Road, is Ross 
Castle, in the vicinity of which Tennyson wrote 
part of "The Princess." jClose by the castle is 
Innisf alien Island, on Lough Leane, "the gem of 
Killarney", says Macauley; "not a reflex of 
heaven, but a bit of heaven itself. 3 * Its main 
charms are its holly groves and red-berried 
rowan trees. The sky in fair weather is blue as 
Mary's Cloak, 



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IRELAND 



THE MAJESTIC SHANNON IS 
BEING THROTTLED 

In the Province of Connacht there is the river 
Shannon, the broad-bosomed, majestic Shannon, 
which is being dammed and trained now by the 
Siemens - Schiickert Company to provide elec- 
tricity for all Ireland. What a peasant in his 
cottage wants electric power for, I cannot say, 
and indeed I have not heard any one ask for it. 
What industries it is going tp serve are unknownl 
But engineers of the country that produced Ein- 
stein, and politicians so mentally able as to be in 
power, their combined wisdom is of a pro- 
fundity. . . . 

J suppose the explanation is that there is 
money in it. There is money, too, in harnessing 
124 




NEAR LAKE 



KOSS CASTLE , 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



a great steeplechaser to a garbage cart when his 
racing days are over. There would be money, too, 
for the Greeks if they made their hallowed 
Parthenon into an open-air cinema. But in 
Athens I am assured I should be torn limb from 
limb were I to suggest it 

Limerick is the city of the Danes and Patrick 
Sarsfield, and the landing place of supplies from 
Hamburg for the furtherance of the Shannon 
scheme. In Clare are lakes like jewels small 
lakes abounding in trout, and perch, and sad 
bream, and the voracious pike. 

The names of the small hamlets have a great 
beauty. Labasheeda, the Bed of Silk; Cloonee- 
nagh, the Solitary Meadow; Inchicronan, the 
Island of the Lullaby; Tinarana, the House of 
Songs. 

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IRELAND 

AMONG CONNEMARA'S PEAKS 

Connemara raises in the distance the threaten- 
ing spears of its mountains spears of purple 
and black, like the picked and terrible troops of 
some dreaded army; but as you come nearer you 
find in the Joyce's Country an unsurpassable 
beauty of heather, a hospitality unbounded, 
great courtesy, comeliness of men and women. 

The - bare stretches where the Connaught 
grouse grows fat and impudent on blueberries 
and rowan berries, and the little lakes where the 
red-billed moor hen bobs courteously through 
the water as you come near, have a kindliness in 
them that goes to your heart. 

alway, City of the Blakes and Lynches, is the 
drowsiest, most magical, most Irish, of towns. 
128 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 

The peat smoke from the houses assails your 
nostrils with a necromancy, and the old ache 
comes in your soul; and, looking westward on 
the ocean, the ache is satisfied, for before you lie 
the three islands of Aran, in the conger-hunted, 
herring- wealthy sea. 



129 



FIVE 



I FEEL that 

in describing my country I am anything but a suc- 
cess. Your Dublin journalist could give me two 
stone and a ten-lengths beating over a five-fur- 
long sprint. 

There is a story, told with great gusto by Sir 
Henry Robinson, of a poor old parish priest who, 
when listening to some men describing the Eu- 
ropean capitals, broke in with: "Well, now, 
gentlemen, do you know: Athy is grand, and 
Thrim is thruly magnificent/' The former local 
government expert finds an excruciating hu- 
mour in this remark. But there is something in 
* 131 - 



IRELAND 

the dear, simple, old clergyman's struggle for his 
country that touches my heart. 

But the Father need not have worried. No 
canal in Venice has the soft beauty of the Great 
Canal that runs from Lough Ree and Athlone to 
Dublin, going through the Bog of Allen, snowy 
with canavaun or bog flowers, bearing on its 
bosom barges of dreams. And the blue Danube 
of the facile waltz must bow to Anna Lrffey, as 
she comes through Lucan, Patrick Sarsfield's at- 
tainted earldom, toward the sea. The mountains 
of Dublin, Two-Rock and Three-Rock, the 
Scalp and Katy Gallagher, bring to my mind "the 
little hills that are about Jerusalem." 

MONUMENTS THAT LEAVE 
THE HEART COLD 

Our monuments in Deny, in Belfast, in Dub- 

132 




A CABIN BUILT OF TURF. COUNTY DERRY 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



lin, leave the heart cold. The bronze statue of the 
worthy Ferguson, in Derry, is called locally 
"The Black Man", so little of romance has it for 
Derrymen. 

In Dublin we have a monument to Nelson, 
and statues of O'Connell and Parnell. But 
O'Connell said that all the liberty in the world 
was not worth one drop of human blood. There 
is a statue in Bayonne, close to the cathedral, in 
memory of a tailor and a student who fell in the 
foundation of the Third Republic, and on it are 
the words, Morts pour la Liberte. Unconsciously, 
when I read them, I stood to, as though the 
Colours were passingT) 

(As to Parnell, for all that is written of him, 
he was a penniless political adventurer to whom 
Ireland gave a career and a living, and who let 
- 135 



IRELAND 

down his country for some woman. Irishmen 
don't do that. As to Nelson, we welcome him. 
He had nothing to do with Ireland, but he was 
a hero/^} 

/In Belfast there is a memorial to Albert, that 
most virtuous of prince consorts; but, in God's 
name, what did he ever do for Ireland, or even 
against her, that his Germanic memory should 
take up one inch of Irish soilC) 

IRELAND OF THE THATCHED 
COTTAGE 

To me Ireland always is the thatched cottage 

on the mountain side, the thunder of the hunt 

as it goes for Fairyhouse River, the grave, soft 

Irish voices. There is even a terrible black beauty 

136 * 




"THE HEREIN* ARE IN!" 

FATHER AND SON MENDING THE NETS IN 

PREPARATION FOR A GOOD HAUL AT 

CLADDAGH 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



about the mountain men as, mad with solitude 
and drink, they crash through a fair fighting. 

Even in our fighting we are courteous. We 
are a warlike nation, but we respect personalities, 
that story of the returned immigrant who, see- 
ing a certain turbulence in his native town, asked 
"whether this was a private fight or could any- 
body join in", is not as ridiculous as it seems. It 
is the remark of a gentleman. 

That the English have done as much evil is 
a fact I doubt. The grave English wisdom of Sir 
Roger de Coverley, that "much might be said 
on both sides" is not inapplicable. We have done 
some shrewd fighting. But the superior assump- 
tion that "Paddy" is a funny fellow, and that 
his mouth is thick with Irish bulls is an insolence 
not to be borne. 

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IRELAND 

A remark at which any Englishman will laugh 
is a phrase I heard from some one in regard to 
a roystering, gaming, heavy-drinking Irish gentle- 
man who is dead: tc 'Tis this way, your Honor, 
himself wouldn't offend a child!" Well, who 
would? But our friend would go out of his way 
to preserve the holiness that childhood is. And 
that is chivalry. When a brown Hand closes on 
my hand, and the pen drops from my fingers, 
and the writing is over, if some countryman of 
mine says as kind a word, it will be sufficient 
epitaph. 



140 



**** / : kA 

** f-jd P 
; SBSit 

,: II IRTi , 



KYLEMORE CASTLE, ONE OF THE LOVELIEST 
PLACES IN COUNTY GALWAY ABOVE IT AND 

THE LAKE TOWERS MOUNT DOUGHRUAGH 

IT IS NOW A CONVENT FOR THE e< DAMES DES 

YPRES" (BENEDICTINE NUNS) 



SIX 



spend 

our lives seeking to form Ireland. Our poets 
come down from the mountain tops, crying: 
I have here a song that will make Ireland 
wake. Our young men gallop into the streets try- 
ing to found a commonwealth more noble than 
the dream of Plato. Our statesmen rise up with 
papers in their hands, saying: Here is the New 
Ireland we have wrought. Let it begin. The old 
men look at us strangely, with a curious lack of 
enthusiasm, but they say nothing to hinder us, 
for they, too, have known these dreams. 

Life goes on. New dogs go out to challenge 
143 - 



IRELAND 



for the Waterloo Cup, each, we hope, fleeter 
than the winner of last year. New horses go gal- 
lantly across the Aintree, seeking to win the Grand 
National More eternal than the snow of the Alps 
is the heather and gorse of Three-Rock Moun- 
tain. 

The note of the cuckoo, the droning of the 
bee, and another foot to the height of great 
larches is our only measure of time. And sud- 
denly we know our heads are white as bog 
flowers. Light comes to us, and we see that we, 
who thought we were men making Ireland, are 
only children at her feet. We have been playing, 
with that play of childhood that is more serious 
than the enduring work of masons. 



144 



THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN 



THE PASSPORT TO TIR NAN OG 

Half an hundred moons, a few more harvests 
of the mountain ash, and our time is come to 
leave for Tir nan Qg, to which our passport is 
that we loved our country. But the thrushes and 

X- 

the wrestling, the poems and greyhounds and 
chiming rivers of the Assured Land can hardly 
tear us from her who has given us birth and 
vision. Herself has to draw us into her arms and 
put a quiet on us. 

The bells of heather 

Have ceased ringing their Angelus* 
Sleepy June weather 

Has instilled a drug in us. 

The cry of the plover 

Is hushed, and the friendly dark 
Has drawn a blue hood over 

The meadow lark. 

145 * 



IRELAND 

We travel sleeping, 

Over heather hill and through ferny dale, 
To the Land of No Weeping, 

Of races, and piping and ale. 

Husheenl Hmhol 

The wind is hid in the mountain. The leaves are still 

on the tree. 
The hawk is caged in the darkness. The field-mouse 

safe in the hay. 

Now I am in my sleeping, and don't waken me 
Tha mee mo hulloo is na dhooshy may! 

Tha mee, Tha mee 

Golden mammy! 

Tha mee mo hulloo is na dhooshy may! 
I am in my sleeping and don't waken me! 



146